CIMA Submits CRTC Intervention On Corus Entertainment's Proposed Changes To Their Country Music Television Licence

Posted on
August 24, 2015
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The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has filed a submission, in partnership with 6 other music industry organizations, on Corus' recent request to change the terms of its current licence for Country Music Television (CMT).

In this submission, CIMA and its industry partners are arguing for the continued need for a home for Canadian country music on television, as well as continued funding for Canadian country music video.

This intervention was co-signed by CIMA, the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Canadian Music Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA), Music Managers Forum Canada (MMF) and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). This coalition of music industry organizations has come together to oppose Corus' licence submission on the basis of it being detrimental to the domestic-owned component of the music industry broadly, and the country music industry more specifically.

What was Corus' request?

Corus was requesting to make a number of changes to its conditions of licence, as well as its nature of service, including:

  • Switching its nature of service from "a national English language specialty Category A service with programming focused on country and country-oriented music" to "national, English-language discretionary service offering comedy, movies, real-life reality series and one of a kind music programming."
  • Delete the conditions of licence requiring CMT to broadcast no less than 50% music video clips.
  • Delete the conditions of licence requiring that any feature films broadcast on CMT have either a country music artist as a key subject or performing.
  • Finally, Corus has asked to remove the mandatory annual contribution (11%) to the development and production of Canadian country music videos from its licence.

Key points of our intervention:

  • If CMT is allowed to essentially remove its commitment to broadcast country music and country music-related content on television, country music is losing the 'only game in town' in terms of television coverage.
  • This coalition believes that the removal of country music's designated home on Canada’s airwaves will have both short term effects on the ability of Canada’s music creators, artists and music companies to reach new and existing audiences, while having a long-term ripple effect on the livelihood of the next generation of country artists and music creators.
  • The submission also addressed our coalition's concerns about the consequences of removing Corus' 11% annual contribution to the production and distribution of Canadian country music videos from the system. 
  • Music videos can be expensive undertakings, and in the current digital climate, they've never been more important for promotional purposes. Removing an 11% annual contribution to the creation of Canadian country music videos would result in a net loss of Canadian country music videos for Canadians.

To read the submission in full, please click here: CIMA Submission - CMT and Corus Entertainment

For any questions, please contact:
Lisa Fiorilli
Research & Communications Coordinator
Canadian Independent Music Association  416-485-3152, extension 223.

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